Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My first attempt at video!

© 2010 Joshua Stark

If you are interested in learning about gathering and processing acorns, please take a look at this, my first YouTube video:

Being extremely uncomfortable with my physical self, it is very scary to put up my first attempt at a YouTube Marginal Lands video.  But, Abby Jaske, the person who filmed and edited, did such a great job with the iffy material I provided her, that I would be a very bad person, indeed, if I didn't share this.

Pretty soon, be ready for a (shorter) video on how to gather and prepare nettles!  There may even be a beer recipe in that one.


Hippo said...

I have been really interested in your acorn posts so far but sadly, at 133Mbs, where I am it would take me all day to open the video.

Still, you don't look like a geek to me, more like a normal beardy type...

If the town power comes back this evening, I might leave it to download overnight, the signal seems to be better then but, much as I am interested in the video, I ain't going to leave the gennie burning fuel all night long!

Haave a good Christmas, mate, and I hope the New Year is fruitful.

Best regards


Josh said...

Shoot, Hippo! I remember those days, which weren't very long ago for my little hometown in California, actually. Don't go wasting good fuel on this video, for sure.

Oh, I'm nerdy enough, but thanks. Actually, I'm happy with my nerdiness - it's an unusual brand, so I was never picked on.

A very merry Christmas to you, too!

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


That was great! and all the more impressive for being your first. I'm really looking forward to the next installment. Defiantly keep it up

Happy new year

Josh said...

SBW, thanks for the praise, it's a big help.

Next week, I hope to shoot a shorter video on picking and using nettles. You got any recipes?

Hippo said...


Look up any spinach recipe and use your nettles the same way.

The most simple way is to rinse the tender leaves and then sweat them off in a pan (you only need the moisture clinging to them after rinsing) and once gently wilted add a knob of butter and lightly season to taste. It is great served in a neat little pile on the plate with a soft poached egg on top. It makes an excellent breakfast.

You can go further and finely chop shallots and sweat them off in a pan until they are soft and glassy before sweating off the nettles.

Go further still and sweat off finely chopped shallots and finely chopped bacon but make sure it doesn't get too greasy (I sweat the bacon off first, recover the bacon from the pan and then drain off the excess oil and then sweat the shallots in the pan, then the nettles and then gently fold in the bacon).

Nettles also taste great served with Sauce Hollandaise. Whizz over to my sadly neglected cooking blog, 'Cooking in the Front Line' and scroll down for the recipe for Eggs Benedict. The combination of a fine lightly toasted English muffin topped with bacon, sauce hollandaise, an egg and nettles is divine and best eaten for elevenses accompanied by a pint of fine English real ale with your mates while planning that next hunting/fishing trip.

Try it...

Then there is nettle soup, of course. A sumptuous liaison of pureed nettles, onions, a carrot, celery, garlic, various herbs and spices, its unctuousness enhanced with lashings of fresh cream. The addition of sauteed wild mushrooms elevates a simple soup to a new level. I would have thought that you of all people would have a hoard of dried mushrooms somewhere.

And you could keep on going. Boil on of your free range chickens in a little water with a chopped onion, celery, peppercorns and herbs, such as the stalks of parsley until the meat is tender. Take out the chicken and let it cool. Drain the liquid through a sieve and allow the fat to seperate out before skimming it off and reserving (I strain the liquid into a jug and then pour it into highball glasses or slimjims which makes it dead easy to spoon the fat out.

Usse a little of the chicken fat instead of oil to sweat the onions etc. and use the chicken stock for the liquid for the soup. Shred the chicken flesh and combine with the nettle soup with mushrroms and add the cream. Poach some eggs and serve the nettle/chicken/mushroom soup in a heavy bowl and float a poached egg in the middle.

It is real good eating...

I have rambled on a bit but if you want a detailed blow by blow account of how to cook these then email me.

Nettles are great and vastly underrated, as is anything that doesn't cost the earth and come in fancy packaging.

Hippo said...

Acorns! How could I miss the obvious connection between acorns and nettles? The roasted flavour of the crushed acorns combined with nettles and butter? That would go fantastic with a game dish accompanied by a rich gravy.

Also, how about spring rolls only using nettles and cheese? Make up a big batch of those and freeze them, deep frying on demand. What a way to get kids to eat healthy greens...

Josh said...

Hippo, thanks for the great suggestions! I'll definitely try the elevenses idea, because my wife would love it! We use duck eggs, since we've got laying ducks instead of laying chickens, but I'm sure they'll do just fine.

I will definitely do an acorn & nettle recipe, as well as the spring rolls you suggest.

As for mushrooms, I've got a Hank of 'em a few miles away... Hank Shaw, that is. I'm only confident picking one kind of mushroom (morels), but he knows his stuff, and besides, I know he's tasted it first.

Do you have a nettle beer recipe? I'm interested in trying, even though I'm more of a hard liquor man.

Please feel free to ramble here all you want! It is greatly appreciated.

Hippo said...

For the nettle beer recipe, I thoroughly recommend Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's:

You would love his books, the River Cottage series because you two are kindred spirits.

It took me several attempts over as many days but I finally managed to download your video on acorns and have just watched it all the way thrrough. It was great! Your enthusiasm for the subject and confidence in front of the camera were very evident.

We do not get acorns here but I will find something to experiment with. I wonder what Avocado seed flour tastes like...

I prefer duck eggs and their size will do justice to a nettle enhanced Egg Benedict!

You have a good year, Josh. My regards to your family and let's have some more videos, a sort of Agrarian Letters from America!

Hippo said...


this is the River Cottage website:

It is, of course, commercial, the man has to make a living but he is a real champion for scavenging the marginal lands...

Josh said...

Hippo, I will definitely check out the site, thanks! I don't mind that it's a professional site; to be honest, if I had the traffic to this site, I'd have ads up, too. There's nothing wrong with it.

Thanks for the kind comments on the video, too.

I don't know what avocado seed flour tastes like, but on a related note, I do know there is a company trying to market avocado oil. I got a free bottle, and it tastes good. It's got a high smoke temp. too.

Hippo said...

I bet the oil comes from the fruit pulp, it has a very high fat content (which is probably why avocados taste so good, especially with a prawn and lettuce salad).

To be on the safe side, I will try boiling the hell out of the seeds, which are as big as a youngster's fist, and then crushing and roasting them.

Come fall, we are up to our arses in Avocados so I might as well give it a go!

How come the sound was so good on your video? Did you have an extra microphone? There was no wind noise, nothing.

Josh said...

My pal, the amazing Abby, videographer, director, producer, had mic'ed me. It was tucked into my shirt.

Bud said...

Hippo, I enjoy your comments and suggestions. Believe me, except for the beard, Josh is above normal--or should I say, average.
Congrats on your first video, Josh.